It's easy to forget how truly delicate your photographs are. But remember, cherished family photographs need as much care as any other heirloom. Here are a few need-to-know tips on preserving these important memories.
- The biggest threat to photographs in the home is direct sunlight. In order to reduce overexposure, frame your photographs with glass or Plexiglas that has a layer of UV protection.
- When it comes to displaying the, select walls or tabletops that are out of direct sunlight. Once or twice a year, rotate displays, varying the amount of light that each photograph is exposed to.
- Another source of damage comes from the actual albums. Albums from the 1960's through the 1980's used paper, plastic and adhesive that were highly acidic. Chemicals from the albums' materials will seep into the photographs causing discoloration and brittleness. Photo albums with rag paper pages and photo corners are actually the most archivally sound.
- Photographs you choose not to frame or place in an album should be stored flat in sturdy archival boxes. For extra protection, layer acid-free tissue or museum-quality mat board between the images.
- Steer clear of attics of basements when storing photograph-filled boxes. The temperature and humidity changes can cause serious damage. Closets or cupboards located on the main floor of your house are a good place to store albums and photo boxes.